The Western Province Rugby Union have eventually made desperately needed changes to the coaching setup. With current coach (who is also director of rugby) Alistair Coetzee failing to keep up with the current level of Super Rugby, the Union has been forced to make drastic changes. The changes may have too late in 20014, with a spot in the playoffs extremely unlikely from here.
Smal will head up rugby matters right across the union, with the senior professional coaches, junior professional coaches and WP Rugby Institute management team all reporting in to him.
‘His appointment is not a quick fix, he’s not a magician,’ said WP president Theo Wakefield said.
Smal said: ‘If needed I’ll get on the training field, but I’d like the coaches to take charge.’
It remains to be seen how hands-on the former Ireland forwards coach will be in 2014 and beyond, but at least things are finally changing in the South West.